tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN August 8, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
all happen. let me say it one more time. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in the situation room. thanks very much for watching. erin burnett outfront starts right now. breaking news,congressman chris collins about to speak out for the first time, one of the president's first most loyal supporters charged today with insider trading. team trump countering the special counsel's terms for an interview with the president demanding no perjury. young children allegedly being taught to carry out mass school shootings in america. let's go outfront. i'm erin burnett. the breaking news. we are standing by for a press conference from chris collins. collins pleading not guilty to charges of insider trading and lying to the fbi.
collins is the first member of congress to endorse donald trump for president, the first and most vocal. he was arrested today along with his son and the father of his son's fiance. we will bring this to you live. so as we await that i want to give you the details on this development with mueller. the president making new demands on mueller. his lawyer rudy giuliani giving mueller a deadline for a sit down interview with the president. >> you do not want to run into the november elections. this should be over with by september 1. we have now given him an answer. he obviously should take a few days to consider it. but we should get this resolved. >> september 1. let's be clear here. the timeline is not under trump's control. his team is trying to make it look that way and play it that way in the court of public opinion. this is mueller's timeline in his investigation. giuliani telling cnn that trump
will consider answering obstruction of justice questions. that is a give to mueller, but giuliani says absolutely no perjury traps. if you are going to ask someone questions about obstruction of justice what is a perjury track? these are basic questions that must be asked. perjury is something giuliani and trump are clearly worried about. it is a talking point as a way to question the fairness of bob mueller. >> they are trying to trap him into perjury. >> we are not going to sit him down if this is a trap for perjury. >> let's be clear. these questions giuliani says are perjury traps. the president has lied at some point about the comey firing. he said it was about russia to nbc news and then he said the deputy attorney general told him to do it. this is a president who changes
his story which could be why his former campaign manager who spends a lot of time with trump told me this. >> my political advice to the president would be not to sit down with bob mueller. the opportunity to make a misstatement potentially or to potentially get caught up on the word is too great of something that could happen there. >> does trump have any intention of answering mueller's questions? or is this negotiation a ploy to delay an interview as long as possible because giuliani has moved the goal post again and again. first remember this, we are not going to talk about a mueller interview until after the kim jong-un summit. >> we literally can't get much done until after the 12th nor would anybody want us to. >> that was the 12th of june. we are very specific here. after that deadline it was no interview because there will be
absolutely no questions about obstruction. >> try to figure out an area of collusion, not obstruction. >> if you would answer questions about collusion and not obstruction or vice versa? >> collusion, not obstruction. >> now it's no perjury traps which kind of means you are not going to talk about obstruction. kaitlan collins, it does not look like we are closer to this interview happening, does it? >> reporter: it certainly doesn't. what the last two weeks have done between the proposal from mueller and counter proposal really is exposing how much distance there truly is between the two sides over whether or not this interview is going to happen. judging from the calls from rudy giuliani the president's legal team for the investigation to come to an end in september it doesn't seem like they are any more likely to have their
client, the president, sit down with the special counsel. you will recall the latest proposal from mueller willing to limit the number of questions about obstruction of justice. they made clear they wanted to ask the questions in person. they want to limit the questions in person to events that happened before he was inaugurated as the president. that doesn't seem something that mueller is willing to budge on either. the president is at odds with his legal team. he believes if he gets face-to-face with robert mueller he can prove his innocence and that that interview can bring all of this to an end. the president's legal team has made quite clear they do not think this is a good idea. they are advising their client against it. one of the president's attorneys put it best today when he said ultimately this final decision will be up to president trump. >> thank you very much.
outfront now former assistant u.s. attorney, our chief political correspondent and former federal prosecutor, thanks to all. gloria, we get another deadline june 12 and now september 1. before that it was thanksgiving and christmas and early spring. no perjury traps and you are not allowed to ask questions like why did you fire comey. this is kind of ridiculous. >> i think that they believe that on the case of obstruction and you are the attorney and i'm not, but on the case of obstruction they believe that they can invoke privilege and that they can say to mueller we can't answer these questions about our conversations with comey, our conversations with sessions, our conversations with flynn because he was president
at the time and we can evoke privilege. when it comes to the question of collusion during the transition or conspiracy, he wasn't president. so they don't have much of a case there to make. they understand that. so i think what they are trying to do is say we will do one thing and not the other. but it's not up to them. it's up to mueller. and the big gamble here is the lawyers believe that mueller will in the end -- he doesn't want to drag this out. >> it's a game of chicken. >> dare, whatever you want to call it. we don't know what mueller is thinking. >> this whole obstruction of justice, there are other issues, whether there is financial fraud and collusion. we know obstruction appears to be the main point of contention at this time. jim comey, here is what trump said to lester holt. he has said why he fired comey. here is one of his reasons.
>> regardless of recommendation i was going to fire comey knowing there was no good time to do it. in fact, when i decided to just do it i said to myself this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story, an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. >> so he has answered the question and said regardless of recommendation and other times he said it is the recommendation of rod rosenstein. saying asking the question of why did you fire comey would be a perjury trap. where does this go? >> it's not a perjury trap because it's not as if you are only interviewing him in order to hope that he lies. you are interviewing him to try to figure out why did you fire comey. you have some information from the lester holt interview.
you want to get the right result. you would like to ask him what were you thinking when you did that. >> do they have competency he will tell the truth in the interview with mueller? >> i don't know whether he will tell the truth or not. if you are the special prosecutor you have to make every effort to get that interview if you think it is important. you could fold up that part of the investigation without interviewing him and say we offered him the opportunity to tell his side of the story. he declined. >> we interviewed all these other people who they have. >> and they have the notes of people. they have contemporaneous interviews. the trump people are saying you don't need trump. he doesn't write e-mails. why do you need him when you have other people's recollections? except you want to know his intent. >> as gloria points out, this could be all about does mueller have the guts to subpoena the
president of the united states? does he? do you think? >> i certainly think he has the guts to subpoena him. mueller is a combination of practical theorists. they are thinking carefully about what is the main issue to subpoena. it's really about if you have a very bad situation like a rogue president people are like let's issue a subpoena and put his feet to the fire. you have to think what kind of law you end up with. if you get a bad ruling from the supreme court too much deference to the executive we are stuck with that for a long time. >> jay secolo says trump subpoenaed the other lawyer. here is what he said would happen if mueller actually subpoenaed the president. >> if you get a subpoena you
file a motion to quash. that is filed with the district court and court of appeals. a subpoena for live testimony has never been tested in court as to a president of the united states. there is a lot of language, articles and precedent against that. >> so he could do it, mueller. he could fail. it would take a lot of time and that really hurts mueller if he loses. >> i think it does because as long as the subpoena battle is open he will not want to say i closed the investigation. it will take a long time. although i think that the outcome is that mueller will win, we don't know. there is always litigation risks. >> so here is the other thing. the issue of the president wanting to do an interview. there are different schools of thought, him saying it as bs or means it. he has said it. here is what he said. >> are you going to talk to mueller? >> i'm looking forward to it,
actually. >> would you like to testify to special counsel robert mueller? >> i would love to speak. nobody wants to speak more than me. >> true? it is against his lawyers. >> does he want to speak? >> the first clip you showed was in january. they were set to sit down at camp david in january for an interview. that is when he said i want to do it. i was told after michael cohen's office was raided that it was -- someone said this is a game changer for trump. he was so mad about it and mad at mueller. maybe he has shifted a little bit. this is a president who believed that he could change kim jong-un. this is a president who believes that he can turn vladimir putin into somebody that we can deal with easily.
so why shouldn't he believe that robert mueller -- this is what trump does. this is his m.o. if you sit down with me i can convince you of anything because i wrote "the art of the deal." i know how to do this. i think in his own mind he wants to square off against mueller. >> before we go, i want to ask you about the manafort trial. manafort's lawyer asked gates if he had four extra marital affairs. the attorney says gates lied about the affairs mueller would rip up the plea deal. do you think gates lied to mueller? >> i can't base my opinion on anything i may know confidentially. i will tell you that it is highly unlikely he did because of the enormous amount of
meticulous preparation that goes into this. he already pled guilty to lying once to them. he met with them something like 20 times in preparation for this. i will tell you, i was surprised of what happened in court with that question. i was even more surprised that the prosecution didn't hit it off to begin with. that could be an indication that they were surprised. that is not good news for rick gates. >> it means they didn't know about it. i know we say this just as a human being. it may be easier for people to be honest about lying on taxes than it is to be honest about having extra marital affairs. new york republican congressman chris collins is about to speak live pleading not guilty today to insider trading and lying to the fbi. this is the first time he will speak. new results coming in from last night's crucial special election in ohio. that race getting tighter.
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members and was able to dodge $800,000 in stock losses. he was arrested today and the other members of his family, his son and the father of his son's fian fiance, all allegedly part of this. jessica, this is a pretty stunning thing, sitting member of congress arrested and charged with a serious crime like this. what more can you tell us about what he allegedly did? >> it is stunning and really the indictment is stunning because of all of the detail. it lays out a litany of phone and e-mail evidence showing how congressman collins purposely passed on inside information when he was on the board of directors for the australian pharmaceutical company and then lied about it to the fbi all according to prosecutors. what is interesting is how this timeline is laid out. it was june 22, 2017 at the exact same time the congressman was captured on video at a congressional picnic at the white house. that is when he received an e-mail at 6:55 p.m. telling him
that the company's highly anticipated drug trial had failed. this was the drug that was going to make or break the company. this information on june 22 wasn't publically released. that wasn't until june 22. phone records released by the fbi in this indictment shows that collins tried to reach his son calling him four times and finally reaching him at 7:16 p.m. that is when prosecutors say he told his son about the drug trial failure and that is when his son told his fiance's parents. prosecutors say her mother called her broker right away telling the broker to sell the stock when the markets opened. and then cameron allegedly called his broker at 7:42 the next morning about two hours before the markets open. in all prosecutors say cameron collins sold 1.3 million shares. for him that avoided nearly
$600,000 in losses here. so really a huge development, a huge indictment. i talked to people at the southern district of new york. they say if congressman collins were to be convicted on all of these counts he faces up to 150 years in prison. >> thank you very much. collins is saying he is not guilty. he is going to run for office again for this fall. it is pretty incredible. he is fighting back. he will be speaking any moment. we will keep that up so the second he speaks you will hear it. i want to go to keith boykin, close friend of both individuals here congressman collins and the man he has been so close to and endorsed and fought for president trump. this is a pretty incredible development. he is going to be speaking any moment. he is not resigning.
he wants to stay in office and he is innocent. your response? >> the timeline that the government laid out today is pretty compelling evidence. the whole notion that they have the exact moment when they received the phone call and cnn has the video of him receiving the phone call. then he tries to contact his son and communicates to him and his son communicates to his fiance's parents. he sells his stock. i can't think of what possible plausible scenario that he can offer to suggest that this was an innocent excuse. you can't say that the government was trying to get you when jeff berman is a trump appointee. so i don't understand how he gets out of this. i think this is an indictment of donald trump in some ways because trump, this is a guy who was the first congressional supporter, the first person to support donald trump. here he is now essentially
saying that he is involved in insider trading scandal just like tom price and wilbur ross was accused of $120 million. there are these stories about trump corruption. it's a horrible reflection of the trump administration. >> and you have manafort charged and gates under investigation. financial fraud and allegations around trump. collins, you know him. are you surprised by his reaction? i guess if you are facing 150 years in jail you have to fight back. >> i'm not drawing a nexus between this crime and the president. we have to stop that. this is an individual in chris collins who was indicted. i have known chris for about ten years. we both served at county executives at the same time. we worked very well together. this is something he is going to have to deal with. he is proclaiming his innocence.
i will believe them through the due course, the due process. i think there will be a tremendous amount of pressure for him from the eight counties in western new york that make up his district, the party chairs for him to at some point get out. >> meaning get your name off that ballot. >> and that can happen right after the primaries in new york he can be nominated to another position, anything. and that would allow the party chairs to fill that vacancy to run for congress in that seat. that seat, by the way, was jack kemp's old seat. that has been haunted. four of the last five representatives have left with that -- >> what do you make of this and jessica saying if he is convicted 150 years in prison. that timeline. i understand he will have some kind of his side of the story. the timeline we were giving
obviously appears very damning. >> there was such a significant sale of stock. it comes at a time when in his mind he knows this news information. >> and four days ahead of it being released to the public. >> it is nonpublic and material because four days later the stock price dropped. that is why he avoided $600,000 of losses. that is a decent size loss. >> a lot of money. it is a huge amount of money for anyone. do you think that none of this is relevant to the president? >> it's an isolated case. chris collins is facing that potential crime on his own. he wasn't conspiring with president trump. president trump is nowhere in the indictment. >> his character, right? michael cohen being indicted. rick gates admit today money laumoney --
admitted to money laundering. >> when you reach the presidency you have thousands of people who helped you along the way in 50 states. and there are bad apples along the way. i would not draw that nexus here. >> we are talking about this is the first person in the united states congress to endorse donald trump. we are talking about trump's campaign chairman paul manafort. his deputy campaign manager rick gates, his national security adviser michael flynn. it is a reflection of the question donald trump says he will surround himself by the best people. why are all of his people ending up indicted or in jail? the top people in his administration are under investigation or being indicted or are in jail and other people have left the administration in a cloud of scandal. why is this happening to someone who said he would drain the swamp? you can't say clinton did it.
even if it is true, this is a guy held to a higher standard. >> paul manafort was bob dole's campaign manager. he goes back to then. we are dealing with tax evasion charges from ten years ago. so i mean, come on, that is a stretch. as far as the collins thing goes, the republicans are already fighting to hold on to the house. this is going to be a seat that would have been easily won by chris collins. >> now all of a sudden it goes in play. >> it is in place and it is unfortunate because the democrats have a weak candidate. so i think in the next five weeks this will play out. i think for now chris collins doesn't have to do anything but sit back and start talking to the right people including his lawyers. >> thank you all very much. the first people that he is going to talk to we believe is us, the american people and his constituency because he will be taking that podium live. it is interesting that could
have started at early as 6:30. it is almost 7:30. there has been a big delay. he is going to be speaking and this will be an important moment. we will bring it to you live. also, coming up outfront trump promising major republican wins in november where he campaigns. michigan's democratic candidate for governor, is she worried? from the battlefield to the campaign trail women veterans are running for office. >> it is hard to walk away from something like that without a sense of second chance and do more with your life and have a purpose. ♪ ♪ ♪ raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens ♪ ♪ bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens ♪ ♪ brown paper packages tied up with strings ♪ ♪ these are a few of my favorite things ♪ ♪ ♪
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breaking news, the democrat gaining on the trump backed republican candidate in ohio, this is too close to call tonight but the margin even closer. officials found 588 uncounted votes late today. 588 votes really narrowing it. in kansas the republican primary for governor too close to call. that's a huge thing to say because the trump-backed candidate kris kobach and colier have 20% of the vote. and now it is a tie. now the races are up for grabs. we are creeping and crawling here. still too close to call. when are we going to know who won? >> we won't know the final answer for some time. both races head to a recount. in ohio the republican does lead by less than one percentage
point. the democrat at the moment has no plans to concede because he believes these outstanding ballots could tighten the margin and cut the lead to 0.5%. in kansas where the president did throw his late endorsement behind kobach, kobach is leading the sitting republican governor by fewer than 200 votes. kobach would oversee the recount. it doesn't appear that kobach would recuse himself from the process. >> it is interesting the schism in the g.o.p. saying we don't want your guy and trump does what he wants to do. the democratic side they have a major schism. the far left is getting a lot of
attention. candidates that she backed did not do well last night. >> no question about it. the energy of the democratic party is with bernie sanders wing of the party. they have not faired well in primary races often losing to the party establishment. in kansas both rally behind a house candidate who lost narrowly in the primary. if she beats the republican kevin yodder in november would be the first native american woman elected to congress and the state's first openly gay member. in michigan the son of egyptian immigrants lost overwhelming to gretchen whitmer. cortez also endorsed in missouri. while they did have some victories including kansas most of the time they lost and had
big questions going forward for the party. >> thank you very much. i want to go to the democratic nominee for michigan. you won the democratic nomination over the gentleman who had the support from the socialist wing of your party. are you concerned about the divide within your party even though obviously you were able to win? >> we had a three-way race. both of my opponents have endorsed me. they enthusiastically showed up at our lunch today. we are going to work together. the stakes are still high. our attorney general is just like donald trump. we are going to coalesce very quickly. i feel good about our chances. >> bernie sanders won the michigan primary over hillary clinton. polls showed she was ahead by 20 points and he managed to win. what has changed?
>> well, i think michiganders are frustrated with leaders who are not getting the job done. we have water problems still. a mom showed me the rash up and down her arm. we have roads that are crumbling and the agenda has set us back. we used to be leaders in public education. we are now in the bottom ten in the country. michiganders are frustrated with people who just talk about solutions. i offer a real plan to get things done. >> some people talked about your plan, fix the damn road s is yor slogan. cortez appeared about a week ago and here is some of what she said. >> this is a progressive movement. i see his success as my success. >> his platform medicare for all, free college, things that she supports.
your tag line was fix the damn roads. are you comfortable with all of this? medicare for everybody, free college -- do you think it is hurting the party? >> i am proud to be a progressive. i know how to get things done. i think that is what is different. we have families who need clean drinking water. you have kids who need good schools and pot holes that are ripping up our cars. i know it is not as exciting as some of the other platform issues that i am running on. those are the fundamentals that are holding michiganders back. this used to be the state that people came to for opportunity. we can be and we will be after this election. >> i can tell you fixing the pot holes is important and i think people get very frustrated about it. you pay a lot of money in taxes and roads and subways don't work. your opponent in november republican bill chuty, the president has endorsed him. the president's record on
endorsements on g.o.p. primaries is strong. trump won your state in 2016. are you afraid of his endorsement to mobilize that base and deal you a loss? >> i'm not. we had record turnout yesterday on the democratic side much more heavily. i won 83 out of 83 counties with strong numbers. i can tell you we feel really good going into the fall. my record was reaching across the aisle and delivering on medicaid expansion. 680,000 people got health care because of that work. my opponent wants to rip that away. i'm going to take on anyone who wants to steal health care away from people in my state. i think that is going to be a very sharp contrast. i feel really good going into this. >> i appreciate your time tonight. >> thank you, erin. next republican congressman chris collins, we expect this
momentarily. he has to come there and make his point. this was supposed to start more than an hour ago. these massive charges on insider trading obviously significant. clearly there is some sort of drama or hold up. we are watching this and will bring it to you the moment it starts. women veterans taking on their next mission, elected office. >> i'm ready for that mission. >> a father arrested accused of training his children to carry out mass school shootings in america. sfx: [cell phone dialing]
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new tonight, it is official, a record number of women have won nominations for the house. among the candidates there are a lot of veterans. >> reporter: afghanistan 2009, third tour of duty air national guard pilot was shot hanging on to the outside of a rescue helicopter and standing on the skids all while returning fire to the taliban. >> kind of got peppered with
different pieces of shrapnel. >> you news a tattoo to cover the scars. >> reporter: an opportunity. >> it is hard to walk away from something like that without a sense of second chance and do more with your life and have a purpose. >> reporter: this veteran, married mother of two and purple heart recipient finding that purpose now in her run for congress. >> people like us just regular people -- >> reporter: like combat fighting on difficult terrain she is a democratic running in a district trump won by 13 points. >> look at the crowd. >> reporter: her veteran status cracking open doors once thought shut for democrats. >> what makes you different than our current congressman? >> i am connected to the district and i understand the
values of the district. >> thank you for your service. >> appreciate that. >> the republican who is sitting there, is it a person by person, house by house fight? >> we can use our districts as a good example of how to heal the country. it is not about compromising on your values about about not letting people divide us. >> i returned fire to the taliban. >> reporter: her military service pushing her video viral notably frustration for refusing to meet with her when she sued the pentagon, a suit haggar won. >> we'll show them tough and then show them the doors. >> the majority of fort hood is in my district. >> how are you going to close that gap? in this district trump won by a lot. >> the republican leadership has gone off the freaking rails and the things that the republican
party stands for now are not representative of the values of the people in this district who have voted republican. >> reporter: recruitment of veterans like haguer was a concerting strategy by democrats. the majority of veterans in congress today are republican like martha mcsally, the military's first female fighter pilot. >> i'm ready for that mission and i'm honored for the opportunity. >> reporter: 2018 is seeing a surge of female democratic veterans like mikey cheryl. >> we have a lot of newly engaged people in this race and we have to get them to the polls. >> reporter: she is running in new jersey's 11th congressional district, a newly opened seat held by republicans for generations. >> i went to naval academy and was a helicopter pilot. in my final tour i was a russian policy officer. >> reporter: mother of four and former federal prosecutor she stands a strong chance at
flipping this red district blue. does that open the door? >> i think it does. i think when you are talking to people and you are saying that you are going to represent a new type of leadership in congress, when you have a proven history of serving this country if you are a veteran and you have always put this country first i think it gives people the sense that you will continue to do so. >> she is running in an open seat. hagar is running against republican representative john carter. his campaign says he meets with any and all voters and adds this -- the reason why he has won so many elections he is a fighter and takes nothing for granted. >> thank you very much. next we now believe we are just a couple of minutes away from congressman chris collins acrossing reporters for the first time after insider trading charges. our understanding is we are just a couple minutes away now and we will see when he actually walks out there. plus a man arrested and what
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happening to the abused and emaciated children found in the compound in new mexico. scott, it's impossible really to get your mind around this. what can you tell us about the accusations that these children, these kids were being trained to commit school shootings? >> hey, erin, so this accusation actually stems from the criminal complaint that was filed in district court here in new mexico earlier today, and it was against all five of the adults who were found on that compound, two men and three women. a small part of that. could plant reads additionally a foster parent of one of the 11 children stated the defendant had trained the child in the use of an assault rifle for future school shootings. it goes on the say should the student be released from school custody, he pose as great danger to the children found on the property as well as a threat to the community as a whole, making the argument that these five defendants should all remain in custody, and they still are tonight, erin. it is important to make abundantly clear that these are
accusations, and they have not been proven in court. the defense lawyer told me look, these should be taken with a grain of salt because there is a chance that these are secondhand accusations, heard secondhand. and they might not be backed up in fact. i can tell you that there were guns found on the property by police and by the property owners as well. we were also out on that property earlier today, erin. i can tell you we discovered there was still plenty of ammunition lying around. we also found that there was a pretty well used gun range out there as well. i asked one of the neighbors about their gun ownership, and they said look, it's not a big deal. almost everybody out here owns guns. after all, you're in the middle of nowhere in the new mexican scrub gun. most people need guns for protection, and he didn't really think much of it. we also heard, though, from the father today of one of the accused. his name is lucas morton. and he painted a completely different picture, saying look, these were muslim people, peaceful muslims who just wanted
to live a life off the grid and get away from society. the only problem is they didn't have the resources or the means to do it properly, and that's why they ended up getting in trouble. >> scott, thank you very much. it's incredibly bizarre and zurich. thank you so much to you. all right. i want to go back to our panel here, pete boykin, all with me as we await chris collins. i believe he is going to be speaking in a few seconds here. let's listen to the congressman. >> thank you all for coming today. before i get started, most of you here know my wife mary of other 30 years. thanks for being here. national press may not know mary sue as well adds our local press does. so over the years, i've often talked about the american dream. i'm extremely fortunate in that i have lived it. it started for me when i borrowed and started scraping together every dollar i could to buy the westinghouse gear division here in buffalo.
and move it to niagara falls under a new name. i'm proud that we put hundreds of people to work who are still working there today. after selling it in 1997, i ran for congress in 1998 up in the niagara falls area, knowing that my business experience would benefit the citizens of new york and offer a new perspective in congress. after being humbled in that race, i spent the next ten years as an entrepreneur, investing in and helping to stabilize dozens of bankrupt and financially distressed companies, saving and creating hundreds of jobs here in western new york. in 2007, which was recruited to run for erie county executive to turn around the effective bankrupt county. i was elected, and by applying the principles of lean sig
sigma, turned around the county finances in 18 short months, all the while honoring my campaign pledge to work for $1 a month. one of the many companies i invested in was a small drug development company, innate immunotherapeutics that was working on a unique cure for hiv patients suffering with aides. ultimately that shifted to a treatment for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, which is one of the deadliest autoimmune diseases known to mankind. my affiliation with this company is why we're here today. i've been an avid, an unwavering supporter of innate immunotherapeutics for 18 years, long before i came to congress or was elected county executive here in erie county. over this time, my affiliation with innate immunotherapeutics has prompted attacks on me, my
integrity, and my investments by my political opponents. i believed in the company and still do, and in the potential of a drug that had the real possibility of improving the treatment options for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patients, which is about the most debilitating disease known to mankind, and something that i saw firsthand affect a close family member. over the years, i invested heavily in innate, became the company's largest shareholder, and an uncompensated member of its board of directors. without my investments and steadfast financial support, the company would have gone under, bringing with it a premature end to a drug i truly thought would revolutionize treatment options for secondary progressive ms. of all the things i wanted to accomplish in my life, finding a cure for secondary progressive ms was at the top of the list.
after years of blood, sweat, and tears, we firmly believed we were on the verge of a medical breakthrough. sadly, despite showing great initial promise, the drug was ultimately shown to be unsuccessful, which is a setback for all those suffering from this deadly disease. many have speculated about my relationship with innate. here are the simple facts. my connections with the company are well-known. i believe i acted properly and within the law at all times with regard to my afafiliation with innate. throughout my tenure in congress, have i followed all rules and ethical guidelines when it comes to my personal investments, including those with innate. when it became clear that the drug i and others believed in fell short of our hopes and examinations, i held on to my shares rather than sell them. as a result, the significant investment i made in the company
worth millions of dollars were wiped out. that's okay. that's the risk i took. my real concern lies with the millions of people suffering from secondary progressive ms who to this day struggle without life-saving treatments for their deadly disease. i've said it before and i'll say it again. i am proud of my affiliation with innate. i may have lost most of the money that i invested in the company, but i took the chance to bring relief to those who deal with the dreadful disease of secondary progressive ms every day. the charges that have been levied against me are meritless, and i will mount a vigorous defense in court to clear my name. i look forward to being fully vindicated and exonerated, ending any and all questions relating to my affiliation with innate. i've spent the last ten years in public service as the erie
county executive and as a member of congress. i've also spent many years volunteering to give back to my community. whether it was a member of the federal reserve bank, small business advisory council, member of the board of trustees of kenmore mercy hospital, or as a long-time mentor to small businesses at the center for entrepreneurial leadership at sunyub, the public knows my dedication to western new york. because my focus is to defeat the charges in court, after today, i will not address any issues related to innate immunotherapeutics outside of the courtroom. as i fight to clear my name, rest assuredly continue to work hard for the people and constituents of the 27th congressional district of new york, and i will remain on the ballot running for reelection